Emmy Contenders: ‘American Crime’ Newcomers on Joining TV’s Boldest Show: ‘It Was Terrifying’

Initially, I didn’t think it through very well,” said John Ridley with a laugh. The creator and producer of the ABC anthology series “American Crime” was thinking back to the planning stages of his show’s second season, which he decided should focus on the aftermath of a sexual assault at a high school whose parents and staff were played by the formidable likes of Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Lili Taylor, Regina King, Hope Davis, Andre Benjamin and others. “I had the idea of taking a big chunk of the storytelling, very mature storytelling, and putting it on young people,” he said. “And then I lined them up opposite some of the best talent around — Oscar winners, Emmy winners, Grammy winners, Tony nominees.”